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Redmi Note 12 5G Review: Perfect Phone With an Imperfect Camera

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 is the latest iteration of a popular smartphone series from the brand. It comes with some premium features like a high refresh rate AMOLED display, with a 120Hz refresh rate, and this time all the models are 5G enabled. Redmi Note 12 5G starts at Rs, 17,999, and with an introductory discount, it comes down to Rs. 16,500. I have been using it for over a week, and after testing every part of the device. Here is my in-depth review of the Redmi Note 12 to see if it is worth your money.

Redmi Note 12 5G review

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 5G: Unboxing

The box of Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 5G, follow comes in the traditional fashion in white, and has the following box contents:

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 5G
  • TPU Clear case
  • 33 Watt Charger
  • Type-C charging cable
  • Sim ejection tool
  • Quick Start Guide

Redmi Note 12 5G: Design and Build

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 series has improved design language, borrowed from the Redmi K50i, which looks very fresh and modern. While other brands are going for glossy and shiny finish rear panels, Xiaomi has opted for a subtle tint. The back panel is made of polycarbonate but replicates the feeling of a frosted glass panel and looks really good in hands. The slim form factor also adds to the premium touch that Xiaomi tries to add to this budget phone.

Redmi Note 12 5G review

The few things that wowed me are, how Xiaomi has managed to keep it at 8mm thickness with the low-profile camera bump on this phone. The frame is also made from polycarbonate and themed to blend in with the rest of the smartphone aesthetics. On the top is the glorious 3.5mm audio jack alongside the IR blaster and secondary microphone. At the bottom side, you’ll find the USB Type-C port along with the loudspeaker and primary microphone.


The SIM tray slot is on the left side and the volume and power buttons are placed on the right side. The power button doubles as a fingerprint sensor to unlock the smartphone with one touch. The smartphone is also IP 53 rated so a few splashes won’t be a problem for the Redmi Note 12 5G. Overall I am very much satisfied with the design and build quality of this smartphone, it gives a premium feel despite being a budget smartphone.

Redmi Note 12 5G review

Redmi Note 12 5G: Display

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 5G comes with a big 6.67 inches FHD+ AMOLED display and the brand claims that the display can go up to 1200 nits brightness. It is surrounded by thin bezels around it and has a center punch-hole design which always looks better than a corner punch-hole or a dew drop notch. The display has a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels with 395 PPI pixel density, this makes the content looks sharp and crisp to the eyes.

Redmi Note 12 5G review

This time even the vanilla Note 12 5G has got a 120Hz refresh rate which makes the animations and content look super smooth. It can be locked to 60Hz as well, to save battery. Since it is an AMOLED display, the viewing angles are great with no color distortion. We tested the brightness of this display on our LUX meter and got a really good score of 450 LUX. Overall the display is excellent and Xiaomi did a really great job by bringing premium features to the budget segment smartphones.

Redmi Note 12 5G review

Redmi Note 12 5G: Performance

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 comes with a new Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 SoC from Qualcomm. The chipset is supposed to replace the Snapdragon 400 series chipsets and is based on the 6nm fabrication process. The processor is clocked at 2.0 GHz and it got two core clusters including 2 and 6 cores each. It is equipped with a Snapdragon X51 5G modem for faster download and upload speeds on the 5G network, and we were able to get approx. 400 Mbps download speed across Delhi. This processor is paired with 6GB of DDR4X RAM and 128GB UFS 2.2 storage, the storage is expandable via the hybrid SIM tray.

Redmi Note 12 5G review

Synthetic Benchmark

Since this is a new processor from Qualcomm, I ran a couple of synthetic benchmarks, like the AnTuTu for overall score, Geekbench 5 for CPU performance, and CPU throttling test. None of the GFX benchmarks ran on it because of some unknown error but I played a couple of games on this phone to test the GPU performance. In general usage, the processor performance is pretty smooth and I never experienced any hiccups throughout the usage.

Redmi Note 12 5G review

The AnTuTu benchmark score came out to be 368,109 which is surely an improvement over the predecessor. This performance is at par with the Snapdragon 845 processor which is decent. Geekbench scores are pretty decent too, it gets 637 as a single core and 1973 as a multicore score. These scores are also very close to that of Snapdragon 845 and 855 which is again a very good thing. Last but not least is the throttling test, the CPU maintains the performance throughout the test and never went below 95 percent performance which is good.

Gaming Benchmark

I ran a couple of the latest games to test how well the chipset performs along with thermals. The games that we installed were; Apex Legends, Asphalt 9, and Call of Duty Mobile. As expected, all of them ran pretty smoothly at medium graphics. The smartphone managed the heat pretty well. Even after long gaming sessions, the phone’s temperature didn’t rise much, and with the case applied you won’t even notice the heat.

Redmi Note 12 5G review

Redmi Note 12 5G: Camera

Xiaomi’s budget smartphones always had a versatile camera system for every use case of smartphone photography but this time Xiaomi compromised in this section. The Redmi Note 12 comes with a triple-camera setup which is a downgrade from the quad-camera setup last year. The camera specifications have been compromised this year, as the main sensor is 48MP which is paired with an 8MP ultrawide sensor and a 2MP macro sensor. The front-facing camera is a 13MP shooter like the predecessor.

Redmi Note 12 5G review

Video recording capability is still the same, 1080p videos at 30 fps max. The camera results are more or less disappointing because of the main sensor, and the other two sensors capture subpar-quality pictures as well. The pictures from the main sensor look soft and lack details. The selfie camera is only good when taking pictures outside, we see noticed a lot of grains in selfies captured in artificial lighting. Overall I am not impressed with Redmi Note 12’s camera quality since this is clearly a downgrade over its predecessor smartphone. The software updates can still fix it to some extent, but that won’t be a drastic improvement.

Redmi Note 12 5G: Battery and Charging

Battery and charging on the other hand are very promising but still not an upgrade over the previous generation. Redmi Note 12 5G packs a 5000 mAh battery, that lasts through a whole day without any need to top up the phone. I easily got a full day of usage, even with a few gaming sessions. When it comes to charging speeds, the phone tops up to 100 percent in just 1 hour and 17 minutes using the in-box 33-watt charger.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12: Pros and Cons

After spending a week with the Redmi Note 12 5G, here’s what I liked and disliked about it.

Redmi Note 12 5G review

Pros

  • Slim form factor
  • Large AMOLED display
  • 120Hz Refresh Rate
  • Powerful performance
  • 5000 battery with 33-watt charger in the box
  • Decent Pricing

Cons

  • Mediocre camera performance
  • Hybrid SIM tray

Final Verdict

Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 5G, starts at INR 18,000, you can get it for INR 16,500 with card offers. It is a great phone, at this price, if you look for a great display and a powerful performance. If the camera is your priority, then Redmi Note 12 may not be the best choice for you. Overall Xiaomi did a very good job at bringing some of the most premium features to the budget segment that you may not find anywhere else.

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Amit Rahi

He is a tech enthusiast who always keeps an eye on the latest tech news. He is a master at Android and Windows “how to” articles. In his free time, you will find him tinkering with his PC, playing games, or browsing Reddit. At GadgetsToUse, he is responsible to update the readers with the latest tips, tricks, & hacks to take the most out of their gadgets.